Kirtland goalkeeper Corinne Aquila called it halftime.
Down 1-0 at Chagrin Falls, Aquila asked for just one goal and she’d do the rest to earn a result for the Hornets in the showdown between two teams that reached the state Final Four in 2019.
That goal came just four minutes into the second half and Aquila stayed true to her word as the Hornets battled the Tigers to a 1-1 draw.
“Corinne came up big,” Kirtland coach Ed Bradac said. “I love what she said to me at halftime. She goes, ‘1-0, it’s fine. Just get me one and I’ll take us home.’ She basically said at halftime, if you get me one I’ll protect the goal.”
Elana McGuinness gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with 11:17 remaining in the first half when she received a fortunate bounce off Kirtland’s Amber Yurick and used a powerful left-footed shot to beat Aquila to the corner of the goal.
“Amber went to head it and the ball doesn’t clear cleanly. It just landed at the girl’s feet and she dribbled in and scored,” Bradac said. “With us playing a 3-5-2 with only three defenders, you’re going to get that.”
The Hornets didn’t panic.
They continued to play hard and earned a corner kick early in the second half.
Giuliana Vladic served it up perfectly for Aria Evans-Roskos to head in the equalizer.
That’s the way it remained as the two Chagrin Valley Conference powerhouses earned their first tie in the matchup. Chagrin Falls now leads the all-time series, 2-5-1.
“What a fun game for both Chagrin and Kirtland,” Bradac said. “It had that tournament feel to it and it’s a fun game because it’s two teams that advanced to the Final Four last year. Going into it, you know it’s going to be competitive and be really intense and it was. It was a fun game to play and to watch.”
Kirtland is now 8-1-3 while Chagrin Falls is 7-2-1.